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December 9, 2010

Judge Penalizes Pottawattamie County Company in Environmental Case

(DES MOINES, Iowa)  A Pottawattamie County judge has assessed a civil penalty of $225,000 against OSI Industries, LLC for a variety of wastewater and air pollution control violations occurring at the OSI’s cooked meat production facility near Oakland, Iowa.  In the decree issued Wednesday, District Court Judge Greg Steensland also enjoined OSI from further violations.

In a petition filed Tuesday in Pottawattamie District Court, Attorney General Tom Miller alleged that OSI has, since 2007, frequently discharged wastewater into an unnamed tributary of the West Nishnabotna River.  According to the petition, OSI violated monthly average and/or daily maximum effluent limits contained in the company’s wastewater discharge permit issued by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  The violations included excessive biological oxygen demand, total suspended solids, ammonia-nitrogen, oil and grease, and fecal coliform bacteria.  OSI has since made a number of modifications to its wastewater treatment system in order to comply with its effluent limits.

The petition also alleged that OSI failed to apply for 26 air quality construction permits for equipment installed since 1995, and failed to apply for a Title V air quality operating permit.  OSI submitted after-the-fact construction permit applications which were approved by the DNR on February 11, 2008, which in turn limited the operation so as to avoid the need for a Title V operating permit.

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